As Think Progress noted, Joe Scarborough probably didn't make a whole lot of right wingers happy with this segment on Morning Joe, but they left out a whole lot of caveats and false equivalencies that went along with this admission.
Conservatives and tea party activists have reacted with rage to what they view as accusations from the left that they are somehow responsible for this weekend’s massacre in Arizona that targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). In reality, progressives are not trying to assign blame or argue that shooter Jared Lee Loughner — who seems to possess no coherent political ideology at all — is a member of any popular political movment, but rather to point out that words have consequences. Political and pundit leaders need to be aware that their words will reach the “serious and delirious alike” and that their rhetoric should not serve to inflame ignorance. [...]
Some conservatives understand this. An unnamed “senior Republican senator” told Politico yesterday that “there is a need for some reflection here — what is too far now?” And on MSNBC this morning, former GOP congressman Joe Scarbrough and conservative stalwart Pat Buchanan agreed that right-wing firebrands like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) should “apologize” for their violent rhetoric — not to assume any culpability for the tragedy, but to simply acknowledge that “they’ve been irresponsible in their rhetoric”:
SCARBOROUGH: So Pat, is this not a time for people, like Sarah Palin, who have used violent imagery – she just has. I know some of my conservative friends and family members won’t like that reality. Or, Michele Bachmann, who said she wants Minnesotans armed and dangerous. Isn’t this an opportune time for them to apologize -– not saying that it led to anything — but just saying that they’ve been irresponsible in their rhetoric and they’re going to be more careful moving forward? […]
I am just saying though, I mean, God, you’ve worked for two presidents. Would you not be in there if you were working for Sarah Palin right now, saying, go out and say it had nothing to do with this shooting, but you understand that it was irresponsible, and you’re going to be more careful moving forward. Wouldn’t you give her that advice if you were her aide?
PAT: Well, I certainly would. I would give everybody the advice to tone down the rhetoric and get away from military and the armed metaphors and things that a lot of us have used in campaigns, especially at a time like this. You know, I sure would Joe.
I'd have thought a little more of this admission if we didn't have so much of the "all sides do it" false equivalencies nonsense. As Think Progress noted in the portion of the post I did not quote here, Michelle Malkin came out with a list of claims that liberals have been acting as badly as conservatives when it comes to the over heated rhetoric after this tragic shooting in Arizona. When that list includes Democrats in our government or leadership positions calling for their political opponents to be shot or afraid to come out of their homes, you can tell me that all sides are equal in this debate.
As to the Morning Joe interview, I'm frankly surprised Scarborough got Palin fan-boy Buchanan to admit that he'd tell his girlfriend to lay off the "armed metaphors". It's a step in the right direction for both of them, which is welcomed, but I'm quite sure it won't mean any less typical political hackery from either of them on a daily basis or the need for them to be called out for it.